Fast and Furious 6 ****
When you watch a tank accidentally roll over a car, you know you’re in the highly specific universe of The Fast and the Furious, where we playfully and happily assume nobody is in all those cars: nobody, we hope, is actually dying.
The first two movies of this franchise were not destined to be half-billion dollar über-blockbusters; the next two were even less highbrow. But 5 was excellent, and so, bizarrely, is 6.
Besides the unbelievably enjoyable car stunts, 5 and now 6 also work as fun travelogues: go to major cities and watch cars being driven through them at insane speeds. In this case the major destination is London, which is a fun setting for this type of thing.
Acting in these things must be really fun: it must be an intense thrill to jerk your head to the side on and look alarmed before you wrench the steering wheel. There’s a lot of steering wheel wrenching.
The big final set piece, while extraordinarily well staged and shot, takes place at night, and this is a mistake. Car action looks best against a blue sky. But it is spectacular. The fun is in the over-the-topness of it all, and, like 5, 6 revels in being over the top. Lord knows how they’re going to top it for 7, which is filming later this year.
But is this movie worth your ten, or twelve, or twenty dollars? Absolutely. This franchise puts it all on the screen. It’s completely ludicrous, totally bonkers, and that’s why you’re there. Let The Rock and Vin Diesel – both absurdly named individuals – sit around while the stunt guys do all the heavy lifting. (It must be very boring to be on a film set this reliant on stuntmen. On the other hand, maybe these big brutes do much of their own stunts. But they can’t do the driving…) The result is the very opposite of boring. Entertainment plus. Leave your brain at home, and enjoy Cinema As Spectacle. Or just… enjoy.